Italy battered by Storm Ciaran, killing at least 6
Rome: At least six people died and one went missing in Italy as Storm Ciaran battered the country’s northern and central regions with heavy rainfalls and flooding on Friday.
The government declared a state of emergency for several areas in Tuscany, which has seen the worst flooding so far, and allocated 5 million euros ($5.3 million) to rescue and aid activities, Xinhua news agency reported.
The provinces included in the emergency scheme are Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Pistoia, and Prato, the cabinet said in a statement.
The six victims were all reported in Tuscany, according to the regional governor, Eugenio Giani, who held an emergency civil protection meeting late afternoon.
Among them were two elderly people, aged 84 and 85, who died when their homes near the city of Prato were flooded, a couple who were found dead near the town of Vinci, and another person in the area of Livorno, according to state-owned Rai News 24.
The flooding has also disrupted traffic on several railway lines in Tuscany. Overall, Giani described the situation as “very serious.”
He said he was in direct contact with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. So far, over 550 firefighters have been deployed across the region, along with teams from the Civil Protection, the Red Cross and the Defense Ministry.
Other regions have been on alert as well due to storm surges in coastal cities, and hydrogeological risks connected to the intense rainfalls and strong winds caused by the storm.
Strong winds and waves already caused damage to economic activities, houses, and other facilities on the seafront of northwest Liguria, and in Tuscany’s Livorno.
As of late Friday, one firefighter who was off duty was reported missing in northeast Veneto, which has seen record rainfalls but not flooding so far, Governor Luca Zaia told the Sky Tg24 TV channel.
The civil protection department issued a red alert — the highest risk level in the country’s three-tier system — for hydrogeological risk in the eastern areas of Veneto on Saturday, while three other regions in the north will remain on orange alert.